Supreme Court Friday dismissed the appeals made by the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC)’s leader Charles Margai and Abu Bakarr Conteh, a concerned citizen, on the eligibility of Solomon Berewa to flag the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in the August polls.
Both plaintiffs were asked to pay a cost of Le500,000 each, thereby giving the Veep one million Leones in cost.
In his judgment Chief Justice Ade Renner- Thomas said both appellants failed to adduce good reasons why the nomination of the Vice President was “inconsistent with section 14 (1) of the Political Parties Act No.3 of 2002” and that in that regard the cases were therefore “dismissed”.
According to section 1(32) of the Electoral Laws Act, the presiding judge said, “every citizen has the right to object to the nomination of any presidential candidate after the notice has been published and this was what promoted the citizen, Abu Bakarr Conteh, to object to the nomination of Solomon Berewa”.
Talking about inconsistency, the judge said the Veep had never in his life held that position and so he did not see any inconsistency in it.
The issue of the Veep being a public officer the Judge cited sections 171, 115 and 17 (1b) and 76 of the Constitution which, he noted, were not applicable to Mr Berewa.
The Judge ruled that the nomination of the Veep was not inconsistent in that according to section 41 of the Constitution for one to qualify for the nomination of president he should be a citizen by birth, a member of a political party; he should be qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament; he should be a registered voter and should have attained the age of 40.
The Judge said the Veep had fulfilled all these conditions as he was nominated by a particular political party “which is the SLPP and he is a registered voter so therefore the defendant Berewa is competent and eligible to be nominated as flag bearer and so the appeal is dismissed”.
In his argument lawyer Eka Holloway, representing Mr Berewa, told the court that because of the intricacy of the matter the court did a lot of research and so therefore they would demand a cost of 10,000,000.
In response lawyer Amadu Koroma, who appeared for the first appellant, urged the court not to award cost but further asked that a cost of Le100, 000 would be okay.
Mohamed Pa. Momoh Fofanah, appearing for the PMDC leader, asked the court to only award a minimal cost.
In the end, Justice Renner-Thomas asked for a cost of Le500, 000 from each plaintiff.
It could be recalled that on July 26 the two appellants filed a case against the nomination of Mr Berewa on July 7.